Good morning! I woke today to my first donation for my Costa Rica Writer’s Retreat. And I feel so very grateful! Buenos dias! Hoy amaneci recibí mi primera donación. Me siento tan agradecida!
When you find your “passion” and live with “purpose” there is no turning back. The moment I picked up the pen to write I understood that I had a great responsibility. My intention for becoming a storyteller is grounded in knowing certain truths. The truth is I was born to sit in and with some really horrible circumstances. My personal life experiences, countless disappointments, battles with fear and insecurity, need for healing, and the impact societal issues were having on me where the very foundation for how and why I would become a writer. Becoming a writer for me has always been about not only finding my voice but speaking out about things I was told I had no business writing about or speaking on.
Choosing to write is a brave act. Choosing to write can be lonely. For me choosing to write is not about money. I write for the stories. I write for the characters that haunt me. I write because there is nothing else I would rather do with the rest of my life. I write so that our stories can be included. I want to write stories about survival, but also retaliation. The stories I write are about important women who have impacted me the most. I write about resistance and love. Being a writer is an important part of my identity. I can’t imagine another path. How many women have been silenced or told that their words don’t matter? How many of us have been stomped on and kept from showing our true essence or shamed for being who we are? I am brave enough to write the kind of stories that make the ground tremble beneath us!
The stories that matter to me are about women you never hear about. The girl from Haiti who should hate Dominicans for the mass murders of her countrymen yet she falls in love with a Dominican woman who treats her with respect and humanity. The story of Mamatingo a “campesina,” a farmer who fought for land rights of the poor in the countryside. The stories of women who start a revolution against the powers that attempt to silence them. This is the place I write from!
The story I have been working on this past year is called For The Love Of Parsley. What’s important to know about me is that I love writing! There is nothing I would rather do with my life. Know that your support will help me to write the most beautiful and important story. This is why retreats like these are instrumental in a writer’s journey, it helps us to get the work done.
Even the smallest donation is a huge blessing. There are so many ways you can help me by reposting on twitter, facebook, tumblr and with your networks. I am so grateful for your support!
To donate: gofund.me/tbdvdhw4
Below is an excerpt for the story I will be working on in Costa Rica.
She watched as the waves brushed up against the rocks. The ocean filled with blood. Bodies washing to the shore. If they were lucky their bodies were taken directly into sea. Some were unlucky and their bodies washed up to the shore and remained on the sand. The sea had become their cemetery and a ceremony waited them.
I stood at the top of the cliff, taking my final breath and I feel so much peace. I am remembering the way grann would take me to the river to bathe me and give me blessings for my life. There is no use fighting. I feel no hate. I feel no anger. Grann I am coming home!
Her favorite place is grann’s altar. Her grann let her bring the offerings to the loas. In one hand she carried coffee and in the other a cigar and candles.
“Be careful little one! Don’t you get burned now!” Grann shouts from outside.
“I won’t grann. I’ve done this for you so many times.” Ayida giggles.
“Yes but you are always in a rush. It is good to go slow, with care.”
“Yes grann I will go slow.”
“Here take this glass of water and leave it in front of Agwe!” grann orders. “These pieces of wood you leave in front of Brise.”
“Done grann! Now what do I do?”
“And this cigar is for….” Ayida cuts grann off.
“It is for Papa Guede. I know grann, I know.
Ayida takes a puff of the cigar and blows it in the direction of the symbols for Guede. She begins to choke on the smoke.
“Child, how many times must I tell you do not swallow the smoke? You must slowly inhale, keep it in your mouth, like this. And then you blow out slowly.”
Ayida loves to watch grann pull on the cigar and blow the smoke out in a straight line.
“Grann, this is my favorite room in the house. I can spend hours here. I love when you teach me the stories about the loas, their powers and remedies to help people feel better.”
About For the Love of Parsley:
This historical fiction is set during a crucial time in history when tensions were ever-rising between both countries in 1937. However, Parsley is relevant to events currently unfolding in the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The story is about love despite the hostility and impact of an historical event that has further alienated Haitians from those with whom they share the island. My intention for writing this type of story is to show how love can exist despite racist systems of oppression that have divided both countries since the early 1800’s.
The stories that matter to me are about women you never hear about. The girl from Haiti who should hate Dominicans for the mass murders of her countrymen and women, yet she only feels love for a Dominican woman who treats her with respect and humanity. The story of Mamatingo a “campesina,” a farmer who fought for land rights of the poor in the countryside. The stories of women who start a revolution against the powers that attempt to silence them. This is the place I write from! I ultimately want my writing itself to question everything and challenge social norms as often as possible. The themes that I care about are the road to justice and the women who have played significant yet underrated roles in history.
Please spread widely: gofund.me/tbdvdhw4